The difference between 18mm and 28mm could be very critical and for someone just starting out, the wider range would be more beneficial than a faster constant 2.8. The 28-105 mm range provided by the 18-70 AFS is what is typically known as the 'Swiss Army Knife' range, in that it is the most useful range for all normal usages. That is just my opinion though.I'm the kind of person who can live without the wide-end so I'd say Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8. They can be had between $200 - $300 used (sometimes new) and the constant wide aperature along with the zoom flexibility will offer a very good compromise between those suggesing fast primes and those suggesting 18-70mm kit lenses. Also being able to keep the shutter speed up may stave off some frustration early on if action shots are a priority.